Saturday, February 14, 2009
Children's Books As Heirlooms
What if you had something in your family to pass down through the generations that was truly beautiful, appreciated, practical, valued, and could make your children (or grandchildren) smarter and more successful? I bet you do! Children's books!
Jewelry, furniture, quilts, photographs... These are the kinds of things that usually get handed down from generation to generation. Your typical family heirloom usually ends up sitting in a hope chest, closet, or attic, collecting dust and smelling funny. They're rarely used, or even touched for fear of being ruined. So really, what's the point?
Create a family heirloom that many generations can enjoy. Save your children's books to pass down to them or your grandchildren. I know this can be tricky, because children aren't always careful and gentle with their books (that's O.K.), and sometimes they don't survive one generation, let alone many. But this doesn't have to be the case with all your child's books. Keep some in a separate location from the rest of the children's books (not accessible to your child on their own). Reserve these books for special viewings together. So not only will these books stay in better shape, but they will also have sweet, sweet experiences and memories associated with them.
Don't feel you have to keep these books in pristine condition though. Your children and grandchildren will think it's fun to see the family member's name that was scribbled in there in their first-grade handwriting. And it's neat to be able to tell which pages were favorites from the creases and little finger smudges.
I already know one of the books I'll be setting aside for my son, Isaac, to read with his kiddos. Snuggle Puppy (Sandra Boynton) is one we've been reading with him pretty much since he was born, and he loves it (see him enjoying this book here)! And this books was already used when I bought it. Doesn't matter though! (Oh books, how I love you... Let me count the ways).
My mother-in-law did a great job of saving some of her children's favorite books from when they were little. The grandkids read them now, and I think they are just so special! Below you can see photos of a few of them. Goodnight Moon was my husbands favorite, my mother-in-law says.
My mom also still has a few from our childhood. I've snatched most of them and have them on my bookshelf now (sorry, family). You can see those photos here too (below).
So don't put that beloved book into the garage sale pile! No! Stop! Put it in a hope chest, closet, or the attic temporarily. Then pull it out again for the grandkids, or nieces and nephews, or neighbors' kids (whomever) and read and enjoy it again! ...And again, and again, and again!!